Wow, it's been a while... I check back on the board every few weeks or so to see if there's anything new and exciting.
Props to Scaner and crew for the BIOS flasher! That is true hacking. I'm just a garage mechanic in comparison! My hat is off to them.
Manuel (the name my wife and I gave to her Dot.Station) is working really well as her home office PC. Mostly used for online banking, but also a good CD player. Very routine, nothing earth-shattering!
I basically cheated. Once jsmmd pointed out the Dot.Box (OEM) motherboard, I bought one to play with and eventually bought a second on eBay way cheap. I also used the hot-air SMT rework station at work to remove the BIOS chips from a couple of Dot.Station motherboards and sent to Badflash for reprogramming. My experience in replacing my iopener BIOS (easily flashable, compared to the infernal Intel BIOS of the Dot.Station!) gave me confidence to solder new sockets for the 82802AB BIOS chips.
If I contributed anything original to the effort, it was realizing that the Intel engineers had planned for a slim notebook CD-ROM in the design of the Dot.Station. It was then easy to work out the holes necessary in the front chassis cover and outer bezel to accomodate the optical drive. I bought a surplus drive on eBay and used an adapter from iDot and placed it as slave on the primary IDE channel. I gave up on my grandiose ideas of CNC machining the outer bezel and "stealthing" the drive, and just Dremeled an opening in the bezel.
I gave up on the "Spanish" modem early on, because I realized that the sound on the original motherboard was routed through it. On the OEM motherboard, I just removed the back-panel headphone/speaker socket and made a little adapter to tie the speaker output into the Dot.Station wiring harness. I bought a Creative Labs 5631 speakerpohone PCI modem, and removed the modem bracket in the chassis and reworked a regular modem expansion-slot bracket and riveted into the chassis to hold it. The speakers work well, also the handset, but the built-in microphone does not work (I think, due to a wiring error on my part--I think it is a condenser mike and needs a bias voltage which I did not provide.)
I installed Windows 98SE using 98lite to nuke IE etc. and give a stable installation. No memory expansion, CPU upgrade, or anything special.
It was fun to build up, and gave Linda a neat, compact PC/boombox for her home office.
I am impressed by the guys who are hotrodding their Dots. That's not my scene--I'm back down in the garage, troubleshooting the stepper motor controlling on my home-converted CNC milling machine...